Barozzi/Veiga’s Bündner Kunstmuseum forms an elegant extension to the Grisons Museum of Fine Arts in Switzerland. Crisp in design and compact in size, the building is a stark and simple reinterpretation of its heritage neighbor.
It takes the two basic elements that define both of these buildings – formal structure and ornament – and renders them to their most pure and elemental.
In this way, the BündnerKunstmuseum is at once elegant and ornate, contemporary and classical.
The new extension won a 2019 International Architecture Award from The Chicago Athenaeum and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
The extension of Villa Planta, which accommodates the Bündner Kunstmuseum, is an exercise in integration within an urban ensemble. Despite the stringent limitations of the plot, the design strives to minimize its exterior volume by inverting the programme’s order.’
This programmatic reversal consists of situating the exhibition spaces below ground level, in such a way that the emerging volume, above street level, contains only the public access areas.
The volume’s reduced footprint makes it possible to extend the existing garden and improves the cohesion of the ensemble.
The extension is understood as an autonomous building, even though the design is aimed at reinterpreting those concepts that allow an architectural dialogue as a continuum to be established between Villa Planta and its extension.
This dialogue between the new and old buildings is based upon the balance that exists between their classical structures, a clear reference to the Palladian influence in Villa Planta, and to its ornamentation.
As for their spatial organization, both buildings present a central symmetrical plan and both use geometry as a tool for cohesion.
In the extension, this classical configuration also makes it possible to simplify the structural system and to organize the exhibition halls on the lower levels.
Villa Planta’s ornaments speak of the Oriental influences of its origins, while in the extension, the compositional system of the facades reinforces its expressivity and autonomy with respect to the Villa.
The process of the purging of superfluous elements which began with the designs for Piloña and Lausanne reaches a point of maturity in the Bündner Museum. Here, the design strips away everything that is not structure, construction and programmatic division, all united in a single whole.
Each building displays its own identity, based on common principles (structure and ornament) to reinforce the idea of a whole.
Architects: Barozzi Veiga
Design Team: Fabrizio Barozzi, Alberto Veiga, Katrin Baumgarten, Paola Calcavecchia, Shin Hye Kwang, Maria Eleonora Maccari, Anna Mallen, Verena Recla, Laura Rodriguez, Ivanna Sanjuan, Arnau Sastre, and Cecilia Vielba
Architects of Record: Schwander & Sutter Architekten
Project Manager: Walter Dietsche Baumanagement AG
Museum Expert: BOGNER.CC – die museumsplaner
Landscape Architects: Paolo Bürgi Landschaftsarchitekt
Client: Bündner Kunstmuseum
Photographers: Simon Menges